Evaluating change in body image concerns following a single session digital intervention

Body Image. 2023 Mar:44:64-68. doi: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2022.11.007. Epub 2022 Dec 8.


Many young individuals at risk for eating disorders spend time on social media and frequently search for information related to their body image concerns. In a large randomized study, we demonstrated that a guided chat-based intervention could reduce weight and shape concerns and eating disorder pathology. The goal of the current study was to determine if a modified single session mini-course, derived from the aforementioned chat-based intervention, could reduce body image concerns among individuals using eating disorder related search terms on a social media platform. Over a two-month period of prompting individuals, 525 people followed the link to the web-based application where the intervention was hosted and subsequently completed the mini-course. This resulted in a significant improvement on the one-time body image satisfaction question pre-to post intervention (p < .001) with a moderate effect size (Cohen's d = 0.54). Additionally, individuals completing the program showed significant improvement on motivation to change their body image (p < .001) with a small effect size (Cohen's d = 0.28). Additionally, users reported that the program was enjoyable and easy to use. These results suggest that a single session micro-intervention, offered to individuals on social media, can help improve body image.

Keywords: Body image; Digital Intervention; Micro-intervention; Online Delivery; Scalability; Social media.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Body Image* / psychology
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Motivation